Fa b 14!

A good mo­tor glider of­fers the best of both worlds, and the AS-K14 is not just a good ’un but ar­guably one of the finest ever made

Pilot - - FLIGHT TEST | SCHLEICHER AS-K14 - Words: Dave Un­win Pho­tos: Keith Wil­son

As the prop slows to a stop one of the great at­trac­tions of fly­ing mo­tor­glid­ers man­i­fests it­self. The tran­si­tion from pow­ered to glid­ing flight is al­most as shock­ing as it is sen­su­ous. The con­trast is just so vivid, but be­fore I can re­ally revel in the near si­lence of soar­ing flight there are some cock­pit chores to take care of. A brief stab of the starter but­ton swings the prop hor­i­zon­tal, swap hands on the stick then a deft pull and twist of the T-han­dle sprout­ing from the star­board side of the panel feath­ers the prop. Swap hands again and set the throt­tle and choke ready to start. Tweak the trim and set­tle swiftly into the core of the ther­mal. As the var­i­ome­ter nee­dle swings con­fi­dently up to­wards six and the al­time­ter’s ‘hun­dreds’ pointer starts ro­tat­ing like a sec­ond hand I set­tle back in my seat with a smug smile.

I re­ally like soar­ing. I like the cere­bral chal­lenge of de­fy­ing grav­ity by us­ing my in­tel­lect as the en­gine and the at­mos­phere as

the fuel. I’m less en­am­ored with wait­ing around to be launched, and land­ing out can be a right pain, hence the at­trac­tion of mo­tor glid­ers. And the sub­ject of this month’s flight test is surely one of the finest ever made. De­scended from the clas­sic Sch­le­icher AS-K6 (known sim­ply as the K6) the AS-K14 has long been on my ‘wish list’. Why? Well, hav­ing owned shares in a cou­ple of K6s (the E model in par­tic­u­lar still be­ing one of the sweet­est han­dling fly­ing ma­chines I’ve ever flown) and hav­ing al­ways en­joyed mo­tor­g­lid­ing, the con­cept of a self-launch­ing K6 re­ally ap­pealed. Con­se­quently, I was both pleased and flat­tered when Peter An­drews asked if I’d be in­ter­ested in fly­ing his.

Owner Peter An­drews

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.